The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to one-year contracts with defenseman Caleb Jones and forward Philipp Kurashev. Jones and Kurashev were restricted free agents. Jones' deal carries a $1,350,000 salary-cap hit, and Kurashev's contract is worth $750,000. Training camp begins on Sept. 21. The 25-year-old Jones set career highs with five goals and 10 assists in 51 games in his first season with Chicago. Kurashev, 22, had six goals and 15 assists in 67 games last season.
Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner will require hip surgery and is expected to miss the upcoming season. The 31-year-old Lehner will likely spend the entire 2022-23 season on long-term injured reserve. The team said no timeline for his recovery has been determined yet. Lehner started 44 games for the Golden Knights last season and finished 23-17-2. He has three years remaining on a contract that carries a $5 million annual cap hit.
The Associated Press | Updated Aug. 10 - 12:23 p.m.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Borje Salming has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, the team announced Wednesday. Salming, who played 16 seasons with the Leafs and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996, said he recognizes that there is no cure for the disease but says there are treatments available to slow the progression. Salming, 71, is receiving treatment in his native Sweden, where there are more than 800 patients living with ALS.
The Carolina Hurricanes have re-signed forward Martin Necas to a two-year, $6 million contract, though new acquisition Max Pacioretty will have surgery for a torn Achilles tendon and face a six-month recovery. The team announced Necas' deal and Pacioretty's injury Tuesday. The contract will pay the 23-year-old Necas $2.5 million next season and $3.5 million for the 2023-24 season. That keeps the young forward with the franchise that picked him in the first round of the 2017 draft. The Hurricanes acquired the 33-year-old Pacioretty in July from Vegas for future considerations due to the Golden Knights' salary-cap crunch.
Andrea Skinner has been appointed interim chair of Hockey Canada's board of directors amid scrutiny of the organization for its handling of sexual assault allegations against members of previous men's junior teams. Skinner, a Toronto attorney, is the first woman to lead the organization's board. She succeeds Michael Brind'Amour, who resigned last week. The federal government froze Hockey Canada's funding after it was revealed the organization had quietly settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by members of the 2018 men's junior team. The freeze will continue until Hockey Canada meets several conditions, including a plan to change its culture.
Jimmy Golen, Associated Press | Updated Aug. 8 - 1:50 p.m.
The Boston Bruins are getting the gang back together. The team signed forwards Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci to one-year deals. The two members of their 2011 Stanley Cup championship team are in the franchise's top 100 all-time for scoring. Bergeron signed a one-year deal almost three months after he left the ice without any certainty that he would return. A few hours later, the team announced that Krejci will also be back in 2022-23. He played last season in his native Czechia.
Courtney Walsh, Associated Press | Updated Aug. 7 - 6:16 p.m.
Star batter Tahlia McGrath tested positive for COVID-19 but was still allowed to play as Australia won the first Commonwealth Games gold medal awarded in women's cricket. Australia beat India by nine runs in Sunday's final at Edgbaston. There was drama midway through Australia's innings when the team confirmed McGrath had tested positive for the coronavirus before the match. McGrath couldn't have played if the game was being staged in Australia. But the Commonwealth Games rules for participation are more relaxed to match the regulations around coronavirus protocols in host nation England.
The University of Michigan promoted Brandon Naurato to interim hockey coach for one season on Sunday, two days after cutting ties with coach Mel Pearson following an investigation into the program. An investigation revealed in part that Pearson pressured student-athletes to lie about COVID-19 contact tracing last year. Pearson was 99-64-16 at Michigan over five seasons. Naurato was on Pearson's staff last season after he was a player development consultant with the Detroit Red Wings for three seasons. He was a forward for the Wolverines and played minor league hockey for four years.
Michael Brind'Amour has resigned as the chair of Hockey Canada's board of directors amid scrutiny of the organization for its handling of sexual assault allegations against members of previous men's junior teams. Hockey Canada announced his resignation in a statement Saturday. Brind'Amour was elected board chair in 2018. He said in the statement that "immediate action" is necessary for Hockey Canada to make the changes it needs to make. The federal government froze Hockey Canada's funding after it was revealed the organization had quietly settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by members of the 2018 men's junior team.
Larry Lage, Associated Press | Updated Aug. 5 - 1:20 p.m.
The University of Michigan has cut ties with embattled hockey coach Mel Pearson. Pearson's contract expired after last season and he had been an at-will employee, pending a review of the program. An investigation revealed Pearson pressured student-athletes to lie about COVID-19 contact tracing during the 2020-21 season and fired volunteer coach Steve Shields for raising concerns. The Wolverines did not play in the 2021 NCAA Tournament due to COVID-19 protocols. With a team led by NHL first-round draft picks, they were 31-10-1 last season and lost to Denver in the Frozen Four.
The Associated Press | Updated Aug. 4 - 11:07 p.m.
The Calgary Flames and recently acquired forward Jonathan Huberdeau have agreed to an $84 million, eight-year contract extension. The 29-year-old Huberdeau came to Calgary from the Florida Panthers with defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, forward Cole Schwindt and a conditional 2025 first-round pick last month for star forward Matthew Tkachuk. Huberdeau finished last season with 30 goals and 85 assists for 115 points. His point total had him tied for second in the NHL, while his 85 assists were a league best. The Saint-Jerome, Quebec, native had spent his entire 10-year career with the Panthers after being drafted third overall in 2011.
The New Jersey Devils avoided salary arbitration with Miles Wood, agreeing to a one-year, $3.2 million deal with the forward. General manager Tom Fitzgerald announced the signing Thursday night, two days before the two sides were scheduled to go to arbitration. Wood will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the upcoming season. The 26-year-old Wood, selected by the Devils in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Draft, was limited to three games last season due to surgery on his right hip and the ensuing recovery. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound forward has totaled 65 goals and 56 assists in 326 games over seven seasons with New Jersey.
The Anaheim Ducks have signed John Klingberg to a one-year, $7 million contract. Anaheim landed the top defenseman on the NHL free agent market by attracting the offensive-minded Swede. Klingberg is leaving Dallas, where he had spent his entire NHL career while racking up 71 goals and 303 assists in eight seasons with the Stars. He had six goals and 41 assists last season. Klingberg's offensive skills and shot-blocking capability give an immediate boost to the Ducks, who can also use his right-handed shot and puck movement on the power play.
The Seattle Kraken have re-signed forward Ryan Donato to a one-year, $1.2 million deal after initially choosing not to offer him a contract as a restricted free agent. Donato was one of the offensive bright spots during the inaugural season for the Kraken. Donato set career highs across the board in games played, goals and assists. Donato's 31 points ranked sixth on the team and his 16 goals were fourth-most for the Kraken. Donato was also responsible for the first goal in team history in Seattle's opener against Vegas.
A jury has found former Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen not guilty of sexual assault. The 25-year-old Virtanen wept openly when the verdict was read Tuesday in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Virtanen was charged in January with sexual assault in connection with an incident in a downtown Vancouver hotel room in September 2017. He told the court last week that the woman who accused him of assault was an "enthusiastic participant" in the encounter. The 23-year-old woman testified that she repeatedly said "no" and told Virtanen that she did not want to have sex with him before he pinned her to the hotel bed with his body.
The Associated Press | Posted July 26 - 12:49 p.m.
The San Jose Sharks have hired former New York Rangers coach David Quinn as their new head coach. The Sharks announced Tuesday that Quinn would replace the fired Bob Boughner as they overhaul their management and coaching team. The 55-year-old Quinn coached the Rangers for three seasons from 2018-21, posting a 96-87-25 record. New York never made it as far as the conference quarterfinals in Quinn's three seasons, missing the playoffs in 2019 and 2021 and losing in the qualifying round in the COVID bubble in 2020.
Center Isac Lundeström has agreed to a two-year, $3.6 million contract with the Anaheim Ducks. Lundeström and the Ducks avoided arbitration with the deal. Anaheim general manager Pat Verbeek has re-signed all of the club's restricted free agents. Lundeström had 16 goals and 19 assists last year in his first full NHL season, ranking fourth on the roster in goals. The Swede also excelled as a penalty killer, tying Corey Perry's franchise record with four short-handed goals.
Tim Reynolds, Associated Press | Posted July 24 - 4:58 p.m.
Only a couple days after being traded, Matthew Tkachuk already feels at home in Florida. The newly acquired Florida forward's parents are building a home about an hour from where the Panthers play their home games. He has familiarity with the Panthers, is already friends with some of his new teammates, is working on quickly building relationships with head coach Paul Maurice and general manager Bill Zito. And on Sunday, for the first time, Tkachuk began explaining why he believes leaving Calgary for Florida is the best move for him right now. The Panthers will formally introduce him on Monday.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 22 - 3:04 p.m.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed winger Patrik Laine to a $34.8 million, four-year contract. The deal carries an $8.7 million salary cap hit through 2026. The Blue Jackets made room for Laine by trading forward Oliver Bjorkstrand to the Seattle Kraken for two draft picks. Locking up Laine long term was the last item on the Blue Jackets' offseason checklist after they surprisingly signed top free agent Johnny Gaudreau. Laine was a point-a-game player last season in his first full year with Columbus.
The Associated Press | Updated July 21 - 10:11 a.m.
The Nashville Predators have signed forward Nino Niederreiter to a two-year, $8 million contract in their biggest free agency move since keeping forward Filip Forsberg off the market. General manager David Poile announced the signing Thursday. The 29-year-old Niederreiter ranked third on the Carolina Hurricanes with 24 goals and had 44 points in 75 games last season. He has scored at least 25 points in nine of his 12 NHL seasons. The forward also has played for the New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild with 181 goals and 187 assists in 732 games in his career.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Posted July 20 - 4:13 p.m.
The five women who currently hold assistant general manager jobs around the NHL each took very different paths to the position. Vancouver's Cammi Granato and Toronto's Hayley Wickenheiser were Hall of Fame players. Wickenheiser got a medical degree while working in hockey. Granato did some broadcasting and scouting along the way. Émilie Castonguay was an NHLPA-certified agent for several years before joining the Canucks. Meghan Hunter worked her way up through the Chicago Blackhawks organization. And New Jersey's Kate Madigan spent time as an accountant before switching careers to go into hockey.
Eddie Olczyk is leaving the Chicago Blackhawks after 16 years as a color commentator on their television broadcasts. He's expected to work Seattle Kraken games next season. Brother Ricky is an assistant general manager for Seattle. The Blackhawks say they're disappointed Eddie decided to go in another direction. Olczyk also does national broadcasts for TNT. He has become one of the leading hockey voices in the U.S. after playing more than 1,000 NHL games.
Eddie Pells, Associated Press | Updated July 16 - 5:26 p.m.
It took three days by car for high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh to escape from Ukraine. She can only guess at how long it will take to get back. Mahuchikh heard gunfire and could sometimes see shells raining down miles away. She could never shake the fear that when she said goodbye to her mom and dad, it might have been for the last time. Four months after that trip to Serbia, the 20-year-old is gearing up for the track and field world championships in Oregon. She is favored to win a gold medal in part because her main rival, three-time world champion Maria Lasitskene, is Russian and not allowed to compete because of the war.
Tom Canavan, Associated Press | Posted July 15 - 12:26 p.m.
While thrilled to have signed two-time Stanley Cup champion Ondrej Palat in free agency, Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald briefly felt star attraction Johnny Gaudreau would be returning to New Jersey. It didn't work out that way. "Johnny Hockey" chose the Columbus Blue Jackets over his home state and the Devils gobbled up Palat hours later with a five-year, $30 million contract. Speaking Fitzgerald says he has no regrets discussing opening days of free agency. He put his best offer on the table in front of Gaudreau and felt good about it. Gaudreau opted to take a little more from Columbus.
John Wawrow And Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 14 - 4:57 p.m.
The New Jersey Devils have agreed to terms with left winger Ondrej Palat on a $30 million, five-year contract. Palat had 52 points in 71 games during Tampa Bay's three consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup Cup Final. The Devils turned to Palat after losing the Johnny Gaudreau sweepstakes to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Washington Capitals continued their busy offseason by signing former Chicago Blackhawks forward Dylan Strome. Ottawa followed up on landing former Flyers captain Claude Giroux in free agency by locking up third-year player Josh Norris through the 2029-30 season.
Larry Lage, Associated Press | Updated July 14 - 1:23 p.m.
The Columbus Blue Jackets made the biggest splash in NHL free agency, stunning the league by landing Johnny Gaudreau with a seven-year contract for $68.25 million. Gaudreau rendered Calgary a loser when he informed the Flames on the eve of free agency that he was not signing their eight-year offer to stay. Columbus added a 28-year-old, six-time All-Star in the prime of his career. The diminutive and dynamic wing had career highs last season with 40 goals and 115 points, giving him 210 goals and 609 points in 602 games for Calgary.
The Associated Press | Updated July 14 - 7:41 a.m.
Hockey Canada has published an open letter to Canadians, saying it will reopen the third-party investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving members of the country's 2018 world junior team. The national federation also says participation in the investigation by the players in question is mandatory. Anyone who declines will be banned from all of the federation's activities and programs. Hockey Canada quietly settled a lawsuit in May after a woman claimed she was assaulted by eight players, including members of the country's 2018 gold-medal winning junior team.
John Wawrow And Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 13 - 6:48 p.m.
The Columbus Blue Jackets landed the biggest prize on the opening day of NHL free agency by signing Johnny Gaudreau to a $68.25 million seven-year contract. The signing came a day after Johnny "Hockey" rejected an eight-year contract to stay in Calgary. Gaudreau's signing highlighted a busy day. Claude Giroux is leaving Florida for a homecoming in Ottawa. The Washington Capitals landed Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Darcy Kuemper from Colorado. The New York Rangers signed forward Vincent Trocheck to a seven-year contract. There was also a big trade with 2017 Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Brent Burns going from San Jose to the Carolina Hurricanes. Top free agents Nazem Kadri and John Klingberg were still available.
Larry Lage, Associated Press | Posted July 13 - 4:56 p.m.
Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman just kick-started the franchise's rebuild. Yzerman made bold moves when free agency opened Wednesday, generating a jolt of excitement for the once-proud franchise that it has not had since the former team captain was hired three-plus years ago. The Hockey Hall of Famer signed center Andrew Copp to a $28.1 million, five-year contract soon after the market opened. Yzerman also signed defenseman Ben Chiarot to a $19 million, four-year contract and a pair of wings to two-year deals. David Perron signed for $9.5 million and Dominik Kubalik for $5 million.
Stephen Whyno And Will Graves, Associated Press | Updated July 13 - 4:26 p.m.
The Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche have brought back defenseman Josh Manson with a four-year deal worth $18 million. The team they beat in the Cup Final also locked up three top contributors: The Tampa Bay Lightning signed center Anthony Cirelli and defensemen Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak to eight-year extensions. The 2019 champion St. Louis Blues re-signed defenseman Nick Leddy after he fit in so well as a trade deadline acquisition. They also locked up forward Robert Thomas to a big deal.
The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired defenseman Brent Burns from San Jose. The team hopes the veteran blue liner will help them make a deeper postseason push. The Hurricanes sent forward Steven Lorentz, a goaltender prospect and conditional third-round draft pick to the Sharks. The 37-year-old Burns won the Norris Trophy in 2017 as the league's top defenseman. The move comes as Carolina looks to take another step in the postseason after two straight second-round exits.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Posted July 13 - 2:12 p.m.
More goaltenders are on the move in the NHL. The Washington Capitals signed Darcy Kuemper, the Edmonton Oilers agreed to terms with Jack Campbell and the Toronto Maple Leafs added Ilya Samsonov. Kuemper should stabilize Washington's goaltending position after backstopping Colorado to the Stanley Cup. Since the Cup Final ended in late June, 19 goaltenders who played in the NHL last season have changed teams.
John Wawrow, Dave Campbell And Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 13 - 12:38 a.m.
Evgeni Malkin is returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins after all. He re-signed on $24.4 million, four-year contract that counts $6.1 million against the salary cap through 2026. Evander Kane is staying put in Edmonton after announcing on social media that he agreed to a $20.5 million, four-year contract with the Oilers less than 12 hours before the NHL's free agency period opened. The Minnesota Wild added another shift to the offseason goalie shuffle by trading Cam Talbot to the Ottawa Senators for Filip Gustavsson. The Senators had an opening after dealing Matt Murray to Toronto. The Wild intended to bring back Talbot in the same timeshare with Marc-Andre Fleury.
Will Graves, Associated Press | Posted July 12 - 9:50 p.m.
Evgeni Malkin is staying in Pittsburgh after all. The Penguins and the Russian star have agreed to a four-year deal that will pay Malkin $6.1 million annually. The two sides reached an agreement just hours before the three-time Stanley Cup-winning center was set to become a free agent for the first time in his career. Instead, the 35-year-old Malkin will remain alongside longtime teammates Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang as the trio head into their late 30s. Letang and the Penguins agreed to a six-year contract last week.
The Associated Press | Updated July 12 - 5:31 p.m.
Duncan Keith is retiring after 17 seasons in the NHL, three Stanley Cups and two Norris Trophy awards as the league's top defenseman. He spent most of his career with the Chicago Blackhawks and joined Edmonton last season. Keith will turn 39 on Saturday, and said there's a noticeable change in how he's felt in recent postseasons. That, coupled with the desire to spend more time with his son Colton, helped him reach a difficult decision. Keith finished his career with 106 goals, 540 assists and 675 penalty minutes over 1,256 games. He also helped Canada win Olympic gold at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games.
Tim Booth, Associated Press | Posted July 12 - 4:52 p.m.
Shane Wright's whirlwind week now has him taking part in the first development camp for the Seattle Kraken. Wright was long expected to be the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft. But he tumbled from the top spot and was eventually picked No. 4 overall by the Kraken. It could be the kind of boost the Kraken need after a disappointing expansion season. Seattle believes Wright can be a future cornerstone at center. Wright says many of his new teammates reached out after he was selected by Seattle. But his most memorable moment may have been an unexpected phone call from Wayne Gretzky after the draft.
John Wawrow And Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 12 - 4:09 p.m.
Scotty Bowman says he no longer works for the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hockey Hall of Famer who won the Stanley Cup nine times as a coach had been a senior hockey operations adviser since 2008. The 88-year-old says it is time to move on but he is not ready to retire just yet. Bowman's son Stan resigned as general manager in October after an investigation into the team's mishandling of sexual assault allegations against an assistant coach by a player revealed he knew about the situation. Scotty says he left the team on good terms after what he called a pretty uncomfortable year.
John Wawrow, Associated Press | Updated July 12 - 1:26 p.m.
Montreal is finally getting its long-promised women's pro hockey franchise, though the Premier Hockey Federation put the brakes on adding a second expansion team entering its eighth season. PHF Commissioner Reagan Carey tells The Associated Press it was in the U.S.-based, privately backed league's best interest to take a slower approach toward growth to ensure long-term stability in adding a seventh franchise, and second in Canada. The yet-to-be-named Montreal franchise has been in the works for some 18 months, with its launch already delayed a year by the COVID-19 pandemic. PHF officials in January also had committed to expanding into a U.S. location, without disclosing where.
John Wawrow And Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 11 - 9:58 p.m.
One Russian Stanley Cup winner is staying put. Another who has won it three times is looking around the NHL for other options. The Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche re-signed winger Valeri Nichushkin to an eight-year contract worth $49 million. A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Evgeni Malkin will test free agency rather than re-sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins before the market opens Wednesday. The Penguins later announced they agreed to a $30 million, six-year deal with winger Rickard Rakell.
Pat Graham, Associated Press | Posted July 11 - 4:02 p.m.
The Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche have promoted Joe Sakic to president of hockey operations. Sakic was the architect behind a team that captured its first title since 2001. The Hall of Fame forward was recently honored as the general manager of the year. The team also announced that assistant GM Chris MacFarland will now serve as the GM. Colorado capped its most successful regular season by dethroning two-time defending champion Tampa Bay in the final. The Avalanche closed out the series in six games and finished the postseason with a 16-4 mark.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 11 - 11:03 a.m.
New off-ice skate blade technology has been unveiled to help hockey players train their bodies better when they're on the ice. Longtime trainer Kelly Riou and partners have developed DriBlades that can replace ice blades for lifting and other dryland training. Stanley Cup champion Chandler Stephenson is among the NHL players who train with Riou and have already tried out the blades. Riou and business partner and former quarterback Jason Johnson say the blades and accompanying weighted slide help players better represent the unnatural motion of skating than other off-ice techniques that try to replicate the lack of balance.
The Associated Press | Posted July 10 - 11:48 a.m.
All-Star forward Adrian Kempe has agreed to a four-year, $22 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings. Kempe set career highs with 35 goals and 54 points last season while earning his first All-Star Game selection. The right wing also led the Kings with six points in seven postseason games after Los Angeles qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2018. The 2014 first-round pick from Sweden has scored 186 points in 390 games over six seasons with the Kings. He is a key offensive component for low-scoring Los Angeles, which finished third in the Pacific Division.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Posted July 10 - 11:31 a.m.
Executives around the NHL expect plenty of movement before free agency opens Wednesday. Several top players including Calgary MVP candidate Johnny Gaudreau, Colorado playoff star Valeri Nichushkin and two-time Stanley Cup champions Ondrej Palat and Jan Rutta could still sign contracts prior to hitting the open market. A big star re-upping with his team has already happened a couple of times with the Pittsburgh Penguins signing Kris Letang and the Nashville Predators signing Filip Forsberg long term. Teams aiming to bring back players or make a splash in free agency are also looking to make trades to clear salary cap space.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Posted July 8 - 9:03 a.m.
The goalie carousel continues to spin even before the second day of the NHL draft begins. The St. Louis Blues traded the free agent rights to Ville Husso to the Detroit Red Wings and the New Jersey Devils acquired Vitek Vanecek from the Washington Capitals. The domino effect started Thursday when the Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche got Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers. That move ensured playoff starter Darcy Kuemper would hit the open market. There's no shortage of teams interested in Kuemper and other goaltenders available by trade or in free agency.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 7 - 10:08 p.m.
Commissioner Gary Bettman says he expects full cooperation from all players involved in the NHL's investigation into the ongoing scandal involving Hockey Canada. The league began the process of holding its own review after news surfaced that Hockey Canada settled a lawsuit with a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by eight members of the country's world junior team at a gala in 2018. Several players from that gold medal-winning team are currently in the NHL. Bettman says he does not expect to have to compel those players to speak with league security when approached during the investigation.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 7 - 9:57 p.m.
Colorado, Chicago and Pittsburgh all made key moves ahead of the NHL draft with the Stanley Cup champion Avalanche making a deal to shore up their goaltending situation and the Penguins ensuring a long-time defenseman was sticking around. The Avalanche acquired goaltender Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers for three draft picks. The Pittsburgh Penguins also signed veteran defenseman Kris Letang to a $36.6 million, six-year contract that carries a $6.1 million annual salary cap hit. The Blackhawks began their much-anticipated dismantling process by trading Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators. And the Minnesota Wild re-signed goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to a $7 million, two-year contract.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 7 - 9:19 p.m.
The Montreal Canadiens have selected Slovak winger Juraj Slafkovsky with the first pick in the NHL draft. He's the first player from Slovakia to be taken No. 1. The previous best was Marian Gaborik going third in 2000. This was the first year in nearly a decade there was suspense about who was going to be the No. 1 pick right up until the player's name was called. The Canadiens said they were considering Slafkovsky, Canadian center Shane Wright and American forward Logan Cooley. The New Jersey Devils surprisingly selected Slovak defenseman and Slafkovsky Olympic teammate Simon Nemec with the second pick.
John Wawrow And Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Posted July 7 - 8:51 p.m.
The long-anticipated dismantling of the Chicago Blackhawks' roster has begun with the team trading Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators and Kirby Dach to the Montreal Canadiens. Chicago eventually made three trades in going from having no picks in the first-round of the NHL draft to selecting three times. The Blackhawks got the seventh pick and two others for DeBrincat and No. 13 for Dach. Now the situation turns to the future of longtime Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane with the organization aimed at extending its rebuild over the long term. Their matching contracts expire after next season. Chicago added a third first-round pick at No. 25 by acquiring goalie Petr Mrazek from Toronto.
Tom Canavan, Associated Press | Updated July 6 - 5:15 p.m.
The New Jersey Devils have named their first female assistant general manager, making Kate Madigan the sixth woman to hold the title in the NHL. General Manager Tom Fitzgerald announced the promotion. The 29-year-old Madigan had been serving as the team's executive director of hockey management/operations. Hayley Wickenheiser was hired as an assistant GM in Toronto and Meghan Hunter was promoted in Chicago in the last few weeks. Emilie Castonguay and Cammi Granato are assistant GMs in Vancouver. Angela Gorgone became the NHL's first woman assistant GM in 1996 when she was hired in Anaheim.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Posted July 6 - 2:53 p.m.
Former NHL defenseman Bryan Marchment has died unexpectedly in Montreal at the age of 53. Longtime agent Rick Curran confirmed that Marchment died Wednesday. Marchment was attending the NHL draft in Montreal as a scout for the San Jose Sharks. A cause of death was not immediately available. Marchment played parts of 17 NHL seasons from 1989-2006. He had been working in scouting and other roles for the Sharks and their American Hockey League affiliate since 2007.
John Wawrow, Associated Press | Posted July 5 - 4:07 p.m.
The war in Ukraine has added an increasing level of uncertainty for teams looking at Russia-born prospects in this week's NHL draft. There are fresh questions regarding their availability to play in North America. There is the potential of Russia being shut out in the first round for the first time since 2005. The concerns include when and whether Russian players will be able to travel to play in North America. The draft will be held Thursday and Friday in Montreal.
The North American agent for Philadelphia Flyers goaltending prospect Ivan Fedotov says he is at a remote military base in northern Russia. Fedotov vanished last week ahead of a planned move to the U.S. The disappearance of one of the NHL's top prospects prompted concern for his wellbeing and worry over whether Russians will be willing or able to join teams who draft them this weekend. Russian men can be conscripted between the ages of 18 and 27. Fedotov is 25 and considered one of the top goalies in the world not already playing in the NHL.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are sticking with Casey DeSmith, signing the team's No. 2 goaltender to a two-year contract extension that carries an average annual value of $1.8 million. The signing gives the Penguins a dependable option behind All-Star Tristan Jarry. The 30-year-old DeSmith played in 26 games for Pittsburgh in 2021-22, going 11-6-5 with a 2.79 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. His three shutouts tied a career high he set in 2018-19. DeSmith set a franchise record for saves in a shutout on April 21 when he stopped 52 shots by the Boston Bruins.
The Toronto Maple Leafs promoted Hockey Hall of Famer Hayley Wickenheiser, Ryan Hardy and Darryl Metcalf to assistant general manager and hired Curtis Sanford as a goaltending coach. Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medalist with the Canadian women's hockey team, joined the Leafs as assistant director of player development in 2018 and was promoted to senior director of the department last year. Wickenheiser was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019. She joins Emilie Castonguay and Hockey Hall of Famer Cammi Granato with the Vancouver Canucks and Meghan Hunter with the Chicago Blackhawks as other women who have been hired as NHL assistant general managers.
The Coachella Valley Firebirds have hired the American Hockey League's first female assistant coach. Jessica Campbell spent the past year working with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL development program and she was an assistant coach with Germany at the IIHF men's world championships. Coachella Valley is set to begin its first season this fall as the AHL affiliate for the Seattle Kraken. Campbell was part of the Canadian national team program and played three seasons for the Calgary Inferno of the Canadian Women's Hockey League. She also played collegiately at Cornell.
The International Ice Hockey Federation has rejected appeals by Russia and its ally Belarus against bans from the world championship following the invasion of Ukraine. The IIHF disciplinary board ruled the decision "was not a sanction but was a safety policy" and also "the safety policy was not discriminatory and was proportionate." Neither Russia nor Belarus played at the men's world championship in May. That tournament was won by host nation Finland. Russia was also stripped of the right to host next year's men's world championship.
Rick Bowness doesn't mind being the second choice. The Winnipeg Jets' new head coach was introduced Monday, a little more than a week after the team's first choice, Barry Trotz, declined an offer because he wanted to spend more time with his family. Bowness stepped down as head coach of the Dallas Stars after the season, explaining he felt the club needed a "new voice." The 67-year-old Bowmess guided the Stars to an 89-62-25 record in 176 regular-season games over almost three seasons, and an 18-16 mark in the playoffs. His record as an NHL head coach is 211-351-76 over parts of 12 seasons.
Stephen Whyno, Associated Press | Updated July 3 - 4:28 p.m.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators. They received defenseman Philippe Myers and forward prospect Grant Mismash in the deal. The move clears significant salary cap space for the Lightning to make other moves this offseason. They are hoping to re-sign top left winger Ondrej Palat and could now also bring back defenseman Jan Rutta. McDonagh was a key part of Tampa Bay winning the Stanley Cup back to back in 2020 and '21 and reaching the final this past season. The 33-year-old is under contract for four more seasons at an annual cap hit of $6.75 million.